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Will You Testify on My Behalf?

December 10, 2009

I am not sure what brought this to mind, but this is one of the stupidest questions I was ever asked.

Ah yes. Where do I begin?

I was once friends with a girl I’ll call Holly after a song I once wrote about seeing her beaten up called Bloody Hollywood.

I’d known her since high school and even then she was taking her clothes off for money, having bought an identity from an older girl.

Neon Stripper

Neon Stripper by duncan

Later, in our early twenties, she had graduated to mooching off of one schmuck and had a house he bought for her in the South end of Louisville, a car he bought for her, and complained endlessly about having to talk to him on the phone once a week for about half an hour to get the money that she lived from that he sent from out of town.

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself because the incident in question was one in which she was driving the little red Audi she had before the sugar daddy stepped in with the SUV.

I was working as a cook in a little pizza joint at the time and didn’t have a car. Near the end of my shift, she came in and had a couple pints of beer and when I clocked out I joined her for one.

At that time, there was a club in town called the Toy Tiger. I had seen it since I was a kid, but never been inside and the neon tiger on the sign had always held a certain mystique for me. He brought to mind the Pink Panther and his tail wagged in a neon arc as he stood leaning Fonzie style against one edge.

Once Toy Tiger

Image of Where the Toy Tiger once stood by 60 in 3

You would hear ads on the radio about Kiss cover bands and wet t-shirt contests and all kinds of low rent fun activities.

On this particular night, we were both lit and going down Bardstown Road – Holly was driving and I saw a sign at the Toy Tiger for a hot legs competition. I told Holly she should do it and as we were yelling at each other over whatever music she was blasting in the car she lurched violently to the right and hollered to the guy at the door to see if the competition was still going on. It had ended and just as impulsively as she had entered the drive, she peeled out, braking violently before punching it to speed back onto the road, jumping the median, and making me think she had ripped something out from the underside of the car.

Those hazy nights were always full of hotdogging and near misses. I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Strippers can’t drive. I have argued with people about this and been told time and again that this supposition is wrong, but every stripper I have ever known has had a higher than average incidence of car accidents. Perhaps it’s an occupational hazard of being paid to drink with people.

Well, hell knows what we did that night. It blends in with so many others. Was it the night I got food poisoning and barfed in her bathtub?


Drano. It's like gold, you know. Photo by 365bunnies

Despite my best effort at cleaning it up, it clogged the drain and I was nagged and yelled at until I ponied up enough to cover the Drano though I was making somewhere in the ballpark of $7 an hour and she didn’t have to work.

Maybe it was the time that I got blitzed and went on a rant about plastic surgery and she ditched me at a biker bar after screaming at me, though no one would have known she had had breast implants until she made a scene. I guess she felt insulted. I made it home on the back of a bike, too drunk to be afraid.

Was it before or after we went to Sturgis on a Greyhound bus and I spent what seemed like hours listening to her scream (not exaggerating) and bitch indignantly when they stowed a borrowed backpack she had sworn she wouldn’t let out of her sight on a bus other than the one we ended up on after the first bus broke down?

Biker Bar

Biker Bar Photo by V'ron

She refused to pay part of my reentry to the campground after I went to town for groceries, cigarettes and beer and hitched a ride back into town with a deaf hippie with a tattooed face and a baby in search of propane. I made it through that trip as a salesgirl in a leather booth by the grace of some old road warrior’s generosity.

I think I had had enough of Holly even before I sobered up. Though she could be a lot of fun, it was her violent rages and humiliating public talking tos that cured me of any affection I had for her. I got tired of the one way nature of the relationship. She would do something horrible, like deliberately giving herpes to a married man during a breakout, laugh about it, and then need consolation over her poor self esteem at another time. It got to be too much.

Maybe it was that she quit hanging out with me when I found out that someone dear to my heart had slept with her. I asked her if she told him about her herpes (not quite sure that was the only thing she had) and she told me that she hadn’t. So I told him. I didn’t tell him about the early morning bouts of anguish as she confided unprotected encounters with strangers in alleys or specific details about why she might not be the best sex partner, only that he ought to be careful and that if herpes was the only thing she had that she was a damn lucky person. I don’t even think he told her what I’d said. I think I told her. And I think that was the end of a turbulent friendship.

Years later I was approached by another friend. “Holly told me if I ever see you to tell you that she misses you. She wants you to call her.”

“Why would I do that? Is she nuts?”

“Well, she’s in trouble.”

“What else is new?”

“She really misses you, but also she wants to see if you would testify for her in court.”

“Ah ha. Now we get to the heart of it. Of course she misses me, now. What happened?”

“I guess there was this time at the Toy Tiger. Some guy says she ran into him with her car. Messed up his leg or something. She wants to know if you’ll be a witness.”

“Are you fucking kidding? I remember that. She was driving drunk. I’m not sure either one of us would know if she had hit someone. Do you think that’s the kind of testimony that she wants?”

“I don’t know. She just wanted me to ask you.”

“Well, you can tell her to fuck off for all I care. No fucking way I’m getting mixed up in that shit.”

That was far from the end of her decline. I hear she got mixed up in shooting dope and who knows what she’s up to these days if she’s still alive. I can bet that she didn’t have a witness in the suit, though. Tough luck, Holly. I hope you didn’t hit him, but I couldn’t swear to it.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2009 10:39 pm

    Wow, intense. She sounds like she was probably messed up from a very young age. Out of all of that, I was the most surprised she slept with someone on purpose while she had a break out.

    But there are certainly lessons that come from everyone who passes through our lives. Maybe this one was the universe making you not stand for that kind of shit in your life again.

    • December 11, 2009 5:53 pm

      Well, yes – that and to not to try to take care of people too fucked up to take care of themselves, but to focus on my own problems and shortcomings first. Still learning that, I’m afraid, but I think I’ve almost got it!

  2. December 11, 2009 7:54 am

    Good lord Kate. Starting to understand why you gave up the drink.

  3. December 11, 2009 9:05 am

    Nice story. I wonder if I ever ran into you and Holly down at Jake’s. It’s long gone, too, just like the Toy Tiger. Which I occasionally visited, as I once had a thing for a cocktail waitress there.

    • December 11, 2009 5:51 pm

      That’s entirely possible, Doug. And if you were ever witness to a cat fight in which 2 redneck women beat up a scantily clad blonde and one ended up with a goose egg the size of a 1/4 baseball on her noggin due to a very well thrown high ball glass, you certainly did. I’m not saying who threw the highball glass, but we ended up getting kicked out.

      Weird story. Do you know what the cops did?

      They took Holly’s number and address and took one of the girl’s numbers and addresses and exchanged them. I think that could be how some murders happen. That couldn’t have been legal. Holly was screaming in the street with a bloody mouth at the injustice. It was a horrible night and one of the last times I was ever there.

      But Jake was so nice, cool and genteel. That bar was great. Dedden’s is gone, too. So sad.

  4. December 11, 2009 9:42 am

    Thanks for sharing this story, Kate. Looking forward to reading more.

  5. December 11, 2009 2:21 pm

    Wow, like Carlo said, I can see why you gave up the drink. Geeeez, what a gal. That’s one hell of a story, and I’m glad you’re not testifying.

  6. December 11, 2009 5:45 pm

    It was great to come home from such a busy day to find so many comments on this tale of woe. Thanks, guys!

  7. Gillian permalink
    January 26, 2010 9:00 pm

    Kate, this is a great story and I really like your writing style. I’m just guessing that you probably have more of these tales lingering in there somewhere. Maybe a book?

    • January 27, 2010 1:00 am

      Thanks, Gillian. A book? Sometimes I think I say too much. Best stick to fiction!

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